Besides autonomous vehicles and drone taxis, the Hyperloop is one of the most awaited transportation developments of this era. This bold innovation is touted the most reliable and efficient mode of transportation the human race has produced so far. The system cleared multiple test runs in recent months, achieving greater horsepower than its series of May 2017 tests.
The most recent simulations had a 28-foot long test pod, traveling the 500-meter (1640-foot) track and hitting speeds of 192 miles per hour (mph). This is an impressive development, but the transportation innovation might be ferrying freight and cargo first, instead of actual passengers.
Passengers or Freight First?
…if Hyperloop is able to overcome all regulations, security issues, insurance hassles to even get started. Once they do, and the freight service works, it will have to win over the people by proving that they are safe, fast, and reliable modes of transportation.
Hyperloop is a bold idea that took decades to perfect and implement. First hatched during the 70s, the original plan was to create a tunnel with very thin pressure or a near vacuum, and a train-like vehicle will be dropped inside it. Due to this thin pressure, the vehicle is theoretically able to reach supersonic speeds easily. A test tube track for the Hyperloop One was created in Las Vegas, Nevada. The test results in May this year had the Hyperloop reaching acceleration levels of about 2G at 70 mph. By July, a Hyperloop One pod was able to hit speeds of 192 mph.
Tech mogul Elon Musk’s brainchild the Hyperloop is a brand new means of transportation. As such, it is understandable for authorities to have safety concerns. Passengers would be subjected to extreme speeds and velocities, and there haven’t been any tests yet on how these would affect ordinary people. Air Force pilots and astronauts, who are exposed to similar travel conditions, undergo rigorous training and wear specialized suits to protect them for the effects of speed and gravity.
Recently, there were talks about using the Hyperloop to transport freight and cargo first before actual human passengers. Former Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx had said in interviews that he believes “freight will move first on the Hyperloop as there might need to be various safety rules and regulations in place before passengers can actually begin to travel via the Hyperloop.”
Besides ferrying passengers at ultra-fast speeds, the Hyperloop is also expected to revolutionize the air freight and surface expedited freight markets, since it is able to transport freight volumes as can be accommodated by trains but at speeds of air freight travel. The road transport industry, however, stands to gain from the Hyperloop freight service since they need first and last line delivery systems for shipments passing through the Hyperloop.
Disrupting the Freight Delivery Industry
Even if the Hyperloop is only implemented in the cargo and freight industry, it will still make a bold impact in how cargo is moved and delivered. It will bring about positive effects in businesses because decision timelines, supply chain costs and the amount of time a product leaves the manufacturer and reaches the consumer’s hands is extremely improved.
The implications are positive all around and could significantly lower costs of various goods and commodities. That is, if Hyperloop is able to overcome all regulations, security issues, insurance hassles to even get started. Once they do, and the freight service works, it will have to win over the people by proving that they are safe, fast, and reliable modes of transportation.